Matt Stairs Is Forever Young

Will Venable’s injury allowed Matt Stairs to make a few starts for the Padres in left field this week. Those starts resulted in enough playing time to push Stairs over 100 plate appearances for the season. Thus marking the fifteenth consecutive season where Stairs has reached the plateau, a streak that captures the majority of his major league playing time.

Stairs’ role has varied quite a bit over that span, as is the case with any non-elite player over a decade and a half of playing. In recent seasons, he’s been nothing but a glamorized pinch hitter – inspiring the great t-shirts with the everlasting “In Case of Emergency, Use Stairs” slogan – but he went through a period where he was a worthwhile designated hitter and even a corner outfielder despite following what some may describe as Rod Beck’s dietary habits.

Despite dwindling playing time, Stairs has rarely delivered offensive mediocrity. Stairs’ wOBA has never slipped below .320 for a full season during the streak and three of his five seasons below .330 have occurred since 2008. This year’s .323 comes in an arctic environment known to leave bats frost bitten, so it can be excused to a degree, but at this point the 42-year-old is all about not slipping away suddenly instead of whether he can improve.

Will there be a roster spot for Stairs next year? I’d like to think so. In a season where Jim Thome has played pat-a-cake with the hands of time, one would hope Stairs can stick around for another season or two, though maybe not long enough so that he becomes a burden on a team because nobody wants to live in a world where Stairs can’t hit.



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Nick
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Nick
5 years 7 months ago

Bring him back 2 Phill-e!

Seth
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Seth
5 years 7 months ago

Matt Stairs is the man! I remember watching him put up one of his better seasons with Pittsburgh as a young lad. It was hilarious watching him stroll up to the plate with that biker stache and swinging for the moon.

Matt Defalco
Member
Matt Defalco
5 years 7 months ago

Someone has to be the Cy Young in W’s of the PH HR category, and Stairs is more than the man for the job.

Rondo
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Rondo
5 years 7 months ago

Matt Stairs vs Jonathan Broxton in game 4 2008 NLCS was awesome.

don
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don
5 years 7 months ago

He’s got 264 career homers even though he wasn’t a full time player until he was 29.

Zach
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Zach
5 years 7 months ago

Since no one else seems to want to, I’ll say it:

“Swing like you live–hard.”

Walt
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Walt
5 years 7 months ago

This summer I was talking with a former Jays assistant GM, and he said Stairs had the most pop of any batter he’s ever seen, but he’s just such a relaxed, care-free guy (not to mention a complete zoo with the glove), he never really turned into much.

I’d love to have him as a PH on my team though.

dustin
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dustin
5 years 7 months ago

I’m puzzled as to what this phrase means:

” . . . at this point the 42-year-old is all about not slipping away suddenly instead of whether he can improve.”

I think what was meant was something more along these lines:

“Stairs will be 43 at the beginning of next season. Players his age are much more likely to have sudden drop-offs in productivity, so even a move to a more hitter-friendly park does not imply that his numbers will improve dramatically.”

Julian
Member
5 years 7 months ago

I think he just meant that Matt Stairs is not thinking about improving at this point, just thinking about not slipping away — remaining productive enough to be on a majorleague team.

Matty Brown
Guest
Matty Brown
5 years 7 months ago

I live 30 minutes away from where Matt Stairs lived in St. John, New Brunswick. I have been so proud of his performance and charismatic fanfare over the years.

Not to mention his sensational hitting performance on my Jays a few years ago.

ngrimson
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ngrimson
5 years 7 months ago

Then you should know it’s Saint John, not “St. John.” Sorry, local quibble.

pete
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pete
2 years 1 month ago

Then you should know he grew up in Fredericton, not “St” John. You’re kinda hard to take seriously

Jacks-Off
Guest
Jacks-Off
5 years 7 months ago

Ah yes, the man, the myth, the legend. How many people can say that they hit 38 home runs in one season and weren’t even worth 1 WAR?…….That’s the stuff that heroes are made of.

Ryan
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Ryan
5 years 7 months ago

Professional Hitter for sure

i'm_freaky
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i'm_freaky
5 years 7 months ago

jeez, i first read it as “Professional Hitler”….

Douglas Heeren
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Douglas Heeren
5 years 7 months ago

I use Matt Stairs off my bench in the MVP 2003 Baseball game. I used him in a double switch early in a game and he got 3 AB’s and homered 3 times! In all he has hit 6 homers, 6 doubles and played some good defense in the outfield, firstbase, and even at catcher.

i'm_freaky
Guest
i'm_freaky
5 years 7 months ago

am wondering what “Pat-a-cake” is…

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